Bad breath is an issue that most people are going to have to face at some point in time. The problem is that many contributing factors can make it challenging to determine what is causing your breath odor issues. The actual causes of bad breath are not that complicated; there is only one leading cause. There are, however, a few common causes that are likely the culprit.
The actual cause of bad breath (halitosis) is bacteria in the mouth; this bacteria is the source of bad breath in almost every single case. There are various sources for this bacteria, but ultimately it is the bacteria that is causing the halitosis. We all have bacteria in our mouths. It is there for a reason – it helps us to digest our food. The problem occurs when we have too much bacteria, and this can happen in several ways.
One of the true causes of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. Plaque on your teeth, gum disease, and cavities are breeding grounds for bacteria and need to be addressed if you want to freshen your breath. Not brushing and flossing your teeth properly will cause a build-up of this bacteria in your mouth. In most cases, proper brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to the dentist, will solve your breath problems.
A dry mouth is another possible cause, so it is essential to make sure that you drink lots of water. One of the jobs of the saliva in your mouth is to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, so a dry mouth usually results in problems with breath odor. In addition to drinking plenty of water, it is good to avoid alcohol since it will cause you to become dehydrated and leave you with a dry mouth.
There are a variety of other ways that you can get excessive bacteria in your mouth. These include illness and allergies; postnasal drip is one of the leading causes. Diet can be a cause of bad breath, especially a diet that is high in protein. Bacteria feed on protein, so a diet with a lot of protein tends to cause an increase in bacteria. Certain medications can also worsen your breath. It may be necessary to visit your doctor to address some of these issues. At the very least, if you have oral hygiene issues, you should mention them at your next check-up.
The actual causes of lousy breath really are not that complicated – it is the result of bacteria in your mouth. The problem is in determining just how that bacteria got there, which could have happened in several ways. Poor dental hygiene is far and away from the most common cause, but it is by no means the only one. The best option is usually to talk to your dentist or doctor and see if they can help to come up with a solution.